Crit 53 @ Shape Gallery. 2 October 2014
Presenting my work “after the feast, chapter 2”
The contemporary art gallery showcases some of the UK’s most exciting disabled artists, featuring works by both well-known names and new talent. Q- Art held their crit and crit workshop at the shape Shape gallery. Q- Art run monthly open crits from September-June across a variety of art colleges and gallery spaces. They are open to students of all colleges, courses and levels of study as well as graduates, self-trained artists, prospective students and anyone with an interest in art.
I decided to very last minute sign up to their opportunity of participating in an open crit to practice myself speaking about my work and gain confidence. I was also curious to see how my latest piece would be perceived, this being the first time that I had showed my piece.
I was the last to present of three presenters and I could never imagine for the experience to have been so difficult and exhausting. Firstly half of the audience was deaf, I was very intrigued by this since I was showing a film with sound I was very curious to see how they would observe my work. My work being of a heavy subject matter (meat) I was expecting a mixed response but never a response of such weigh of misunderstanding and rejection. I was in the end defending my work and my choices, having it compared with a youtube video urging people to stop eating meat, having recommended for me that I should just have presented a dead cow at the stage and questioning why I was working with video.
At first and during the painful Q & A I was feeling equally angered and frustrated and when leaving the venue I was truly doubting myself and my work. There was however (thankfully) a woman who came up to me in the end who said that she liked it, that she saw the connection and that deaf people do see things very differently. “They can’t see anything in a subtle way” was her words. Now the following day after a l have swallowed my pride and disappointment I can see how despite the negative feedback how important it was for me to hear it. My work will never be simple or straightforward, I will continue to work with subjects that are difficult and controversial. My work becomes a reflection of myself, my thoughts and I will continue to investigate what shocks, disturbs and intrigues me.
I think however what saddened me the most was that I felt that the techniques that I used and my visual language was not seen or appreciated. Then there was a man who compared my work with Lúis Bunuels “un chien andaloue” and another woman who felt that for her it represented life and death in a very touching way.
The great acceleration – Taipei Biennial 2014 curated by Nicolas Bourriaud (my photos)
“A tribute to the coactivity amongst humans and animals, plants and objects.”
Interest, identity & values – How to improve your project
Chelsea College of Art 13/06 2014
Using Lego to encourage a further understanding of your practice, interest, identity & values. Working with Lego as serious play was first tested and used as a means of improving communication between the staff at Lego.
The aim of this workshop was to create structures with the lego, encouraging thinking with your hands rather than your brain, to not have a conversation with yourself but let your hands and intuition do the building.
We were first asked to build a tower, there were no further instructions except to make it as tall as possible. What was very interesting was to see how very different all our structures were, from controlled to the balance act daring ones, from the random colored ones to the color coordinated, from the imaginative to the straight.
After this we were asked to modify our towers into being a response of our learning practice. I was struck by how much these structures could read of us as creatives, both in it’s strengths and weaknesses. I was discovering myself comparing my (what I perceived to be failed) structure with the others, in which I saw much stronger qualities. This resulted in me losing focus which is very truthful in my practice.
The structures kept evolving and the symbolism nd meanings depend. In the end I didn’t just become clearer with what drives me, what my values and interests are but also I gained a further understanding of my personal logic, my techniques and characteristics.
My structures kept being dismantled and did not have a natural build up and thus finish, but it had strong symbolic of my constant renewal of myself and my practice both in a good and bad way. There were some very impressive structures in regards of imagination and process, mine was not one of them. I experienced a constant collapse and in some ways a constant over analyzing. But through my chooses of constantly introducing ladders and eye pieces I could see a clear and steady path of my values.
It was very rewarding and eye opening mainly through the talks that we had. I feel that I opened up and progressed a lot in my communication about my work and processes.
Lessons to be learnt
I must not be afraid of slowing down and get better at reflecting over my practice. I must have faith and further develop a structure of executing my work. Choosing what threads to focus on. My research needs to be clearer and stronger whilst staying open minded for changes and experimentation. Not finishe til I’m fully satisfied, dare to abandon and discard, go back and revisit.